UpdatedUpdated 2 days ago
By James Elton-Pym
Greens senator Nick McKim said he was confident the bill would find enough support among the minor parties on the crossbench if Labor signed on.
Labor has already described the changes – which mean residents will need much higher salaries to bring their parents to Australia on a visa – as a “stealth attack” on migrant families, but has not committed to a disallowance motion.
Last week, SBS News revealed the changes would impact thousands of would-be migrants already waiting in Australia’s visa queue, sometimes for many years.
“This change goes far too far,” Senator McKim told SBS News.
“There are already significant assurances that need to be given. This is simply a punitive move designed to put a roadblock in place to make it more difficult for people to reunite with their family members in Australia.
“We will move to disallow it in the Senate and we would urge Labor and the crossbench to join with us."
The changes were introduced as a legislative instrument, meaning they did not require a bill to pass parliament to become law.
But such instruments can be “disallowed” in the senate with a majority vote. The Greens plan to introduce their motion when Parliament sits again next week for the federal budget.
The changes to visa sponsorship rules mostly affect parent visas and the standards that apply to their child sponsors in Australia.
An individual trying to sponsor their two parents now needs to prove they earn an annual income of $86,607, up from $35,793 under the previous rules. A couple sponsoring two parents now needs a combined income of $115,476.
The wait for a parent visa to come to Australia is around three years for the most common parent visa, up to around 30 years for some types.
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